Operation Black Ice, the first major expansion for Rainbow Six Siege, has been delayed but only slightly. Previously expected to debut in January 2016, Ubisoft has now confirmed that it's coming February 2. Season pass ($30) owners can immediately gain access to its two DLC characters when they are released without having to spend currency, be it real-world money or in-game cash, to unlock them.
Everyone else will be able to unlock or purchase the two new operators seven days later. These characters come from Canada's Joint Task Force 2 counter-terrorism unit and are outfitted by new weapons and "unique gadgets." Operation Black Ice also comes with one new map, which will be free for everyone, as well as a "handful of new weapon skins" across all tiers. Players can also look forward to unspecified gameplay upgrades.
In a blog post, Ubisoft said every new operator coming to Siege in the coming year (a total of eight are planned) can be unlocked through normal gameplay by playing about 25 hours.
"The data we have suggests that the average FPS player spends 8-10 hours a week playing their favorite FPS (also in-line with our observation during the closed beta), so it should only take between two to three weeks maximum to unlock an operator," the developer said.
Given that there will be about three months of space between each of Siege's four planned add-ons for 2016, Ubisoft said it thinks players "won't have trouble" saving up enough in-game currency (Renown) to unlock all eight operators when they release. Of course, players can also buy each operator right away form 600 R6 Credits, which comes out to $5.